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Views From 36,000 Feet

It sure beats browsing the world on Google Earth

Story by Danish Mujeeb November 23rd, 2016

Window Seat & My Camera

When flying, I usually try to avoid the window seat and end up packing my camera in the overhead compartment. I find the window seat to be a little claustrophobic, especially for a big guy like me. However, on this flight from Denver to New York City, I got stuck with a window seat. To keep me distracted from getting claustrophobic, I decided to keep my camera with me.

A commercial airliner will typically fly anywhere between 36,000 and 40,000 feet. The world does look pretty amazing from up there. I came across a few interesting natural features and scenery. Luckily the sky was clear and I let my DSLR do rest of the work. Unfortunately, I was not able to capture the exact locations.

Nonetheless, here are my favorite picks!

The Town

We flew over this mall town, completely covered with snow. The town was small enough to be framed into a single shot. You can see the major highways going through the town, they almost cross each other at right angles. Most of the town is focused on the top right quadrant (I have no orientation of true North here).

There is also a river flowing through the town. You can see how it meandering through the landscape. You can see bigger tall buildings in the middle of town, which I assume is the downtown. You can even see the suburbs where the density of buildings go down.

However, the most beautiful features in the scene, I feel, are the shadows of the clouds over the practically white landscape. I wish I knew which town this was and I wish I could visit it, now that I've seen it from this high!

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The Strata

We flew across this mountain range, where the various layers of the strata are clearly exposed. You can also see the same river meandering through the mountain range. Some sections had a heavy cloud cover. It's amazing how high an airliners flies! Given that these are mountains, which clouds on top of them. We're flying to high, that the clouds just seem like icing on the cake.

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The Spine

Here, we're flying over a mountain range that looks like a spine. If the Earth ever were to have a backbone, it would look like this. Mountains are typically formed when two tectonic plates pushed against each other. This looks like a perfect example! There is a clear boundary where the two plates pushed against.

I see quite a few tributaries flowing out of the mountains to some structures, who's outlines are a bit faint in the snow. At the bottom, you can see some faint circular outlines. I suspect they are examples of centrally pivoted irrigation.

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The Forest

A beautiful mountain range hosting a forest. The whole range is beautifully snowed over with some tips of the trees sticking out. You can see the lower altitude land behind them, which is not snow covered.

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The Lake

The vibrant brown and blues of the land show up once we crossed over the snow covered area. Here, I find myself flying over a lake at the foothills of a mountain range. It hasn't snowed a lot over here.

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Footnote: Pictures shot using the Nikon D7200 with the 50mm 1.8g lens at f/9
36,000 Feet